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Customs intermediaries and traders completing declarations can now apply for grants to support training and IT under a £8 million investment from government as applications open.
The government has engages extensively with industry bodies and key providers of customers broker services – including freight forwarders, fast parcel operators and independent customers brokers – to better understand the challenges they face in supporting existing and new clients.
Based on this useful engagement, HM Treasury and NMRC announced an one-off investment of £8 million to support broker training and increased automation in September, which will help increase capacity of the sector ahead of March 2019.
This includes £3m HMRC is investing to increase training provision in this area. They have worked with learning service provider Knowledge Pool who are engaging with training providers the number of courses available in the short term, as well as investing in the development of new courses which will be available over the coming months to support customers broker training.
As part of this investment, £5 million in funding is now available to help businesses based in, or with a branch in, the UK to meet the costs of employee training and IT improvements. Businesses who will benefit from the funding are encouraged to apply early.
Applications will close on 5 April 2019, or earlier once all the funding is allocated.
A business or sole trader that completes customs declaration, this includes customs brokers, freight forwarders and fast parcel operators. Customs intermediaries or sole traders need to meet certain requirements, depending on which grant is being applied for, and they must be based in, or have a branch in the UK. Businesses can apply for just one of the grants, or both.
To apply for the training grant, customs intermediaries or trades must either:
The grant will provide funding for up to 50% of the cost of training that provides your employees with skills to:
The training does not have to lead to a formal qualification.
To apply for the IT improvements grant customs intermediaries must:
You must use the funding to buy software that’s a packages solution and is used to increase the automation or productivity of your business in completing customs declarations. The funding can also be used to:
You must use the funding towards upfront training costs for the training grant and/or buying software for the IT improvements grant.
To find out more about this scheme, please visit the .gov website using the link provided on the right hand side.